From Duds to Studs: Week 9 Matchups to Exploit

by dave
Oct 30, 2012

When the Saints come marching in, consider starting your duds.

If you started a bunch of Broncos last week you probably galloped all over your opponent.  In hindsight, I guess it wasn’t all that surprising that Peyton Manning, Willis McGahee, Demaryius Thomas, and even Eric Decker would have a field day against New Orleans. Based on fantasy points allowed, the Saints defense is God’s gift to fantasy owners.


It’s also no surprise that the top five finishers in our first qualifying round of the FantasyPros FanDuel Championship (FPFC) all exploited the favorable Saints matchup. Stuffing the undervalued Denver players into their lineups was a common theme for the week 8 winners. More on this later, but if you want to enter our $10,000 championship for just $1, click here for more details.


So what are the tastiest matchups for Week 9? Well, if you can stomach it, you might want to consider rolling with some guys that have been pretty big flops so far this season. Yep, the stars seem to be aligned to make Week 9 the official bounce-back week for your fantasy duds.


Consider the QB position. The five most overvalued QB’s based on draft rankings vs. actual rankings just so happen to be going up against five of the six easiest defenses this week (based on average fantasy points allowed per game to QBs). You’d have to be brave to consider starting these guys, but if you believe in matchups, it’s tempting to roll the dice this week…


Easiest Matchups for QBs in Week 9


Michael Vick (or Nick Foles???) vs. New Orleans Saints

Michael Vick, here’s your last chance at redemption. Vick was the preseason consensus #6 QB. So far, he’s the #14 QB in average fantasy points per game. Vick owners must be feeling sick, but his week 9 matchup might be just what the doctor ordered. Just make sure you keep an eye on the news about his grip on the starting job. Even if he does start, you have to consider the possibility of a quick hook if he falters early.


Matt Schaub vs. Buffalo Bills

Can you believe the QB for the 6-1 Texans is the 22nd ranked QB so far this season? Well, when you have Arian Foster and one of the top defenses in the league, I guess you don’t need to pass the ball that much. Still, with the 2nd easiest matchup for QBs on plate, Matt Schaub could easily exceed his QB #15 preseason rank (at least for this week).


Jay Cutler vs. Tennessee Titans

I’m not sure if it’s Chicago’s offensive line or Jay Cutler’s attitude, but owning Cutler stinks. The best Cutler has made me feel all year is the day I dropped him in one of my leagues. The consensus #13 QB in the preseason is the #27 QB so far this year in average fantasy points per game. But given his matchup, Jay Cutler could be a decent bye week fill-in play.


Cam Newton vs. Washington Redskins

Many people thought RGIII had a chance to mirror Cam Newton’s surprising rookie year, but who knew Cam Newton would regress into such a big sophomore slump? As the #5 QB in draft rankings, Newton’s fringe QB1/QB2 performances must be frustrating his owners. The spotlight is on him this week and the Redskins present an opportunity to outshine the rookie that’s been getting all the love.


Philip Rivers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

In terms of underperformance vs. preseason rank, it doesn’t get much worse than Philip Rivers. The #10 preseason QB is 28th in average fantasy points per game this season. Yes, even Brandon Weeden is outscoring Rivers! The Chiefs are bad though, really bad. If you still have Rivers warming up your bench, this could be the week to dust him off.


Want to see who has the easiest matchups for the other positions? Check out two reports that we update each week:

  • Fantasy Points Allowed – Teams ranked by average points allowed to each position. The better the rank, the easier the matchup is. All columns are sortable, so play around with it to view the rankings by position.
  • Matchup Calendar – See the defenses your players are going to face in the weeks to come, along with how easy the matchups will be. Also, it’s a nice way to see what defenses each player has faced in the past. If the player has gone against a really difficult schedule, he may be somewhat undervalued.


Now it’s time to put this info to good use. As mentioned earlier, we’re running a $10,000 FantasyPros FanDuel Championship (FPFC). If you think you can pick some good players for Week 9, you should try out our contest. It’s only $1 to enter this week and you can enter up to 3 teams if you want. Get more contest details or Pick your players now!
Congrats are in order for the twenty winners from Week 8. In addition to the cash prizes, the Top 5 players each earned a seat in our Week 13 Final ($5,000 prize pool with only 25 total contestants!). Here are the Week 8 lineups for the winner and runner up:

Think you can field a good team for Week 9? Don’t forget to enter the contest this week!

What's your take? Leave a comment

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